The Crusades: Part 1

Crusades – A Definition
The Crusades were a series of military missions, usually organized and promoted by the Pope and/or Roman Catholic Church. The crusades took place through the 11th and 13th centuries A.D. The original intent of the crusades was to recapture “Christian” lands that had been invaded by Muslims.
The Crusaders used the Christian cross as their symbol. They believed that the symbol of the cross made them invincible against the armies of the Muslims. The word "Crusade" came from the Latin word for “cloth cross.” Eventually, the word "crusade" was used to describe the entire journey from Europe to the Holy Land.

Crusades – Overview of Main Crusades
First Crusade: The first crusade was launched by Pope Urban II after the Council of Clermont in 1095 A.D. The Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople sent a letter to Pope Urban II, asking for his assistance against the progressing Muslim invaders. Urban gave a call to Christians throughout Europe to recapture the Holy Land, and especially Jerusalem, from the Muslims. The crusaders of the First Crusade departed in 1096 and eventually recaptured Jerusalem in 1099. On the way to Jerusalem, the crusaders established “kingdoms” for themselves in various cites in the middle east.
Second Crusade: Shortly after the First Crusade, the Muslims counter-attacked and captured the city of Edessa in 1144 A.D. St. Bernard of Clairvaux traveled throughout Europe, encouraging people to “take up the cross” and push the Muslims back from what they had retaken. Lacking a clear and persuasive goal, and marked by incompetence in leadership, the Second Crusade was an utter failure.


  The Crusades Part One


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